Posted in Guest Post

Guest Post about Online Marketing by Hayley Zelda


How To Do Online Marketing For Your Book

While many authors have spent years studying how to improve the craft of writing, few study the very important craft of marketing. I put together this post to share some tips on book marketing for authors looking to market their book online. Let’s face it, unless you’re J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, you’re not going to land a major publishing deal and have an army of sales people promoting your book for you. This means that it’s going to be up to you to find ways to get people to read your book. There are all sorts of tools and tactics available for self-published authors, but I’ve listed some of my favorite tools below for creating interest in your book. Keep in mind, you don’t have to use all of these tools, just pick and choose from them as you see fit.

1. Try working with influencers

If you want to sell more books, you’ve got to get the attention of influencers in your genre.  These influencers could be authors, bloggers, podcasters, Twitter personalities, etc. Try to work with influencers who have a lot of followers and get your book in front of as many people as possible. You can try contacting influencers on social media or sending them an email.

What works best for you will depend on the influencer. Some of them may not even want your book, but they could be willing to mention your book on their blog, podcast, or twitter account. Most of the time you’ll have to give them a free copy of your book in exchange for mentioning it.

If you have an ebook, then you can create your own landing page for your book and send people to it when they pre-order the book.  For instance, you can use Amazon’s product page creator, give the URL to your influencers, and they can send people there to order the book when it’s released.

2. Create a podcast, Youtube channel, or blog

If you want to make a living off of your writing, then one of the best things that you can do is to create a following of people who like your work and will buy your future books. The easiest way to do this is to create a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel where you can regularly post new content that will interest your target market. The more popular you get, the more people you can reach and the more people will buy your book.

3. Focus on creating quality content

What kind of content works best for building an online audience? I’d have to say that educational content is the best kind of content. People who are interested in buying and reading your book are probably the same people who want to improve themselves and increase their knowledge about a subject. If you’re an author, then you know all about writing. Try to create content that is both entertaining and educational. This is a great way to get your book in front of the right people who are likely to buy it. If you don’t have an audience on your site to share content to, look at other writing sites or blogs to contribute to. Start by targeting smaller blogs and sites to contribute to like Wired For Youth and then climb up the ladder to larger ones.

4. Use Amazon’s free services to promote your book

Authors can list their books on Amazon for free and they’ll even display a custom cover for your book if you have one. They’ll also put your book in front of people who are searching for books in your genre and people who click the “also bought” buttons.  Amazon will also give you the ability to drive free traffic to your book’s landing page.  This will help you build a list of people interested in your book and they’ll be notified when your book is released.

There are also other free services that Amazon offers to authors such as the Amazon Author Central account and KDP Select. I encourage you to take advantage of everything that Amazon has to offer to you to promote your book.

5. Create a website for your book

If you have a personal brand, then you can build an audience with a blog that you own.  You can also build a website for your book or both. You can use your site to drive traffic to Amazon and it can also help you create a following of people who like your writing and want to hear about your future releases. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding.

6. Test Facebook Ads

If you have an existing audience on Facebook, then you can use Facebook ads to promote your book to that audience. You can create an audience of people who like your Facebook page and target them with ads on Facebook. It won’t cost very much to do and you can test how your ads are performing to see which ones are bringing you the most sales. You can learn more about Facebook Ads for authors here.

7. Leverage your email list

People who follow you online are your biggest fans. You can tell them about your new book when it’s released and ask them to pre-order it or leave a review.  You can also use your email list to promote your book to your fans and it won’t cost you anything. You can also try using an autoresponder service like Aweber to send emails to your list. 

8. Get your book into brick and mortar stores

If you have a physical book and you’re selling it locally, then the best way to sell more of your books is to get it on a shelf in a bookstore or to ask them to order it for you.  Contact the local bookstores to see if you can set up a book signing at their store.

9. Setup a book trailer

People tend to consume video content more than anything else on the web. Make a book trailer that tells people about the plot of your book or what inspired you to write the book. You can get a couple of friends to star in it or you can make one yourself.  Use Youtube to promote your book to people who like watching book trailers.

10. Leverage multimedia fiction

If you have a book, then you can leverage it by including multimedia content. You can create a web app, graphic novel, board game, mobile app, etc. to create more interest in your book. For instance, you could create a web app that is based on the themes of your book and your audience can play with it for free.  You could even include an ad for your book in the app. You can also try a multimedia fiction site like Commaful.

11. Create promotional products for your book

Promotional products such as t-shirts, mugs, posters, etc. are an easy way to promote your book to people who have a habit of collecting these kinds of things.  You can offer the items as prizes on a giveaway, get them printed with your book cover, or you can sell them on your website or Amazon. 

I hope that you’ve found some useful information in this post about how to market your book online.  It takes a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort when you land your first big client and make a nice chunk of change for your efforts. If you want to sell more books, then you’ll have to get the attention of your target audience and the best way to do that is to get your book in front of people online.

About the Author

Hayley Zelda is a writer and marketer at heart. She’s written on all the major writing platforms and worked with a number of self-published authors on marketing books to the YA audience.